Confidence for homebuyers

A milestone in improving the home inspection industry and the confidence of homebuyers was announced last week by Minster Responsible for Housing, Rich Coleman.

The provincial government has  approved changes to the Home Inspector Licensing Regulation, which will strengthen Consumer Protection BC’s role in overseeing home inspector licensing and help consumers understand what to expect from a professional home inspection.

Years in the making, these new regulations for professional home inspectors take effect on September 1, 2016. 

In 2013, the provincial government invited public input on an improved regulatory model for home inspectors. The announced changes are based on that public input, as well as on research and consultation with home inspector associations, home inspectors, Consumer Protection BC, and other stakeholders.

Most notably, consumers will have the benefit of knowing in advance what will be covered in a home inspection. This move is expected to provide transparency for consumers to improve their expectations.

Another change is the prohibition of terms that limit a home inspectors’ liability. Other jurisdictions in Canada already have this wording in their legislation. Consumers in BC who have had their home inspection conducted by a members of The Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors British Columbia (CAHPI BC) have benefited for years with the knowledge that their licensed home inspector had valid professional and general liability insurance.

CAHPI BC professional inspectors have been improving and upgrading their knowledge and skills with industry-approved educational programs. In today’s announcement, Minister Coleman announced that all home inspectors will need to take continuing education, and approved courses will be available from a variety of sources.

Training for home inspectors will still be available from a variety of providers, but Consumer Protection BC will assess whether applicants are qualified, rather than the associations. This is seen as a good move, as there have been splinter associations that have held their members to different standards.

The Province will undertake a comprehensive review of qualifications required to perform home inspections, and will develop new, more rigorous training and examination requirements for those wishing to become home inspectors. 

This review, expected to be in place by 2017, will help develop a single occupational standard for all BC home inspectors.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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When you need advice or guidance with DIY home improvement and repairs, Hugh Cairns can help you with the answers.

Home improvements can be rewarding, turn your home into a nicer more comfortable place to live, and increase its value.

Whether you are renovating your kitchen, converting a loft, giving a room a lick of paint or making improvements to your home’s energy efficiency, this column is here to guide you with useful information and key things to remember.

Do you have a renovation question or concern? Please feel free to send Hugh your questions. Contact him through www.subject2homeinspections.com

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